Bolling v. Sharpe

Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the Constitution prohibits segregated public schools in the District of Columbia.wikipedia
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List of landmark court decisions in the United States

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Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the Constitution prohibits segregated public schools in the District of Columbia.

Supreme Court of the United States

United States Supreme CourtU.S. Supreme CourtSupreme Court
Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the Constitution prohibits segregated public schools in the District of Columbia.
It held that segregation in public schools violates equal protection (Brown v. Board of Education, Bolling v. Sharpe and Green v. County School Bd.) and that traditional legislative district boundaries violated the right to vote (Reynolds v. Sims).

Equal Protection Clause

equal protectionequal protection of the lawsEqual Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
In Bolling, the Court did not address school desegregation in the context of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, which applies only to the states, but rather held that school segregation was unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
While the Equal Protection Clause itself applies only to state and local governments, the Supreme Court held in Bolling v. Sharpe (1954) that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment nonetheless imposes various equal protection requirements on the federal government via reverse incorporation.

Brown v. Board of Education

Brown vs. Board of EducationBrown v. Board of Education of TopekaBrown v. Board
Originally argued on December 10–11, 1952, a year before Brown v. Board of Education, Bolling was reargued on December 8–9, 1953, and was unanimously decided on May 17, 1954, the same day as Brown.
The case of Brown v. Board of Education as heard before the Supreme Court combined five cases: Brown itself, Briggs v. Elliott (filed in South Carolina), Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County (filed in Virginia), Gebhart v. Belton (filed in Delaware), and Bolling v. Sharpe (filed in Washington, D.C.).

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Fourteenth Amendment14th AmendmentFourteenth
The Court observed that the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution lacked an Equal Protection Clause, as in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Although the text of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the Equal Protection Clause only against the states, the Supreme Court, since Bolling v. Sharpe (1954), has applied the Clause against the federal government through the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment under a doctrine called "reverse incorporation".

George Edward Chalmer Hayes

George E.C. HayesGeorge E. C. Hayes
The lead attorney for Bolling was George E. C. Hayes.
He was the lead attorney in Bolling v. Sharpe (1954).

John Philip Sousa Junior High School

John Phillip Sousa Junior HighJohn Philip Sousa Middle (formerly Junior High) SchoolSousa Junior High School
Beginning in late 1941, a group of parents from the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., calling themselves the Consolidated Parents Group, petitioned the Board of Education of the District of Columbia to open the nearly-completed John Phillip Sousa Junior High as an integrated school.
This action was eventually overturned in the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision in Bolling v. Sharpe, which made segregated public schools illegal in the District of Columbia.

Due Process Clause

due processdue process of lawdue process rights
In Bolling, the Court did not address school desegregation in the context of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, which applies only to the states, but rather held that school segregation was unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In Bolling v. Sharpe, the Supreme Court held that "the concepts of equal protection and due process, both stemming from our American ideal of fairness, are not mutually exclusive."

Incorporation of the Bill of Rights

incorporatedincorporationincorporation doctrine
The Court held, however, that the concepts of Equal Protection and Due Process are not mutually exclusive, establishing the reverse incorporation doctrine.
For example, in Bolling v. Sharpe, which was a companion case to Brown v. Board of Education, the schools of the District of Columbia were desegregated even though Washington is a federal enclave.

James Nabrit Jr.

James Nabrit, Jr.
James Nabrit Jr., a professor of law at Howard School of Law, a historically black university, filed suit on behalf of Bolling and the other students in the District Court for the District of Columbia seeking assistance in the students' admission.
Notably, Nabrit argued Bolling v. Sharpe, a companion case of Brown v. Board of Education.

Randy Barnett

Randy E. BarnettProfessor Randy BarnettR. Barnett
In a debate, law professors Cass Sunstein and Randy Barnett agreed that while the result was desirable, Bolling does not reconcile with the Constitution, with Barnett saying: "You are right to point out that the Supreme Court's decision in Bolling v. Sharpe is very difficult to reconcile with the text of the Constitution. For this reason, you know that among constitutional scholars of all stripes Bolling is one of the most controversial and difficult cases ever decided by the Court."
He has indicated that the case of Bolling v. Sharpe (dealing with integration of public schools in the District of Columbia) is hard to justify textually from the Constitution, and if it were to be overturned, Congress would create more laws desegregating the district, which would be justified in his view of the Constitution.

Michael W. McConnell

Michael McConnell
For example, Judge Michael W. McConnell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit wrote that Congress never "required that the schools of the District of Columbia be segregated".
McConnell has likewise argued that the Court's decision in Bolling v. Sharpe was correct but should have been reached on other grounds, as Congress never "required that the schools of the District of Columbia be segregated."

Gardner Bishop

On September 11, 1950, Gardner Bishop, Nicholas Stabile and the Consolidated Parents Group attempted to get eleven African-American students (including the case's plaintiff, Spottswood Bolling) admitted to the school, but were refused entry by the school's principal.
Bolling v. Sharpe was unique because it introduced the argument that segregation itself was unconstitutional.

Legal case

casecourt casecases
Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the Constitution prohibits segregated public schools in the District of Columbia.

Washington, D.C.

Washington, DCWashington D.C.District of Columbia
Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497 (1954), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that the Constitution prohibits segregated public schools in the District of Columbia.

Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Fifth AmendmentFifthU.S. Const. amend. V
In Bolling, the Court did not address school desegregation in the context of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, which applies only to the states, but rather held that school segregation was unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Anacostia

Anacostia, Washington, D.C.Anacostia, D.C.East of the Anacostia River
Beginning in late 1941, a group of parents from the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., calling themselves the Consolidated Parents Group, petitioned the Board of Education of the District of Columbia to open the nearly-completed John Phillip Sousa Junior High as an integrated school.

Plessy v. Ferguson

Plessy vs. FergusonPlessy vs FergusonPlessey v. Ferguson
While Nabrit's argument in Bolling rested on the unconstitutionality of segregation, the much more famous Brown v. Board of Education (decided on the same day) argued that the idea of 'separate but equal' facilities sanctioned by Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896) was a fallacy as the facilities for black students were woefully inadequate.

Earl Warren

WarrenChief Justice Earl WarrenChief Justice Warren
The Court, led by newly confirmed Chief Justice Earl Warren, decided unanimously in favor of the plaintiffs.

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals10th Cir.Tenth Circuit
For example, Judge Michael W. McConnell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit wrote that Congress never "required that the schools of the District of Columbia be segregated".

Cass Sunstein

Cass R. SunsteinCan It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in AmericaSunstein, Cass
In a debate, law professors Cass Sunstein and Randy Barnett agreed that while the result was desirable, Bolling does not reconcile with the Constitution, with Barnett saying: "You are right to point out that the Supreme Court's decision in Bolling v. Sharpe is very difficult to reconcile with the text of the Constitution. For this reason, you know that among constitutional scholars of all stripes Bolling is one of the most controversial and difficult cases ever decided by the Court."

Certiorari

certwrit of certioraricert.
When the court dismissed the claim, the case was granted a writ of certiorari by the Supreme Court.